As part of the Renewable Energy Policy (PDF), the County has committed to increasing its use of renewable energy resources and is seeking to offset its electric metered usage with locally produced solar and renewable power. In 2021, the County established a goal to complete renewable energy projects to generate the equivalent of 100 percent of Baltimore County’s baseline electricity demand by 2026.
Through an RFP process, the County awarded a contract for solar photovoltaic systems on two landfill sites and is currently investigating the feasibility of two rooftop sites. The expected level of renewable energy production proposed for the landfill solar projects would be equal to approximately 35 to 40 percent of the County’s total baseline electricity consumption (FY 2019). The goal is for solar systems to be installed, constructed and online by end of 2023 (FY 2024).
Purchasing Renewable Energy
Baltimore County meets Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) each year. Renewable energy purchases are made as part of the Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee’s (BRCPC) Energy Board. The Energy Board works with an energy consultant to manage the energy purchases for electric and natural gas portfolios and to purchases RECs in accordance with RPS requirements. The level of purchases that must be met from solar and renewable resources steadily ramps up each year, until the requirement of 50 percent renewable energy in 2030.
BRCPC is initiating efforts to expand its purchase of renewable energy and attain RECs to be generated by wind, solar or other renewable energy plants.
This initiative is driven by:
- Increasing concerns on the effects of climate change
- Increased interests of community stakeholders and interest groups
- Interest from member new administrations
- Increased renewable energy purchasing by regional peer groups (i.e. Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., etc.)
- Availability of increasingly competitive prices for renewable energy
- Opportunity to employ a long-term hedge against potentially volatile conventional energy prices for portions of BRCPC's total energy requirements
- Recent passage by the Maryland General Assembly to increase the percentage of energy from renewable sources to 50 percent by 2030 (Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard)
- To source the renewable energy from a Plant within PJM or in a control area adjacent to the PJM service territory. Proximity to Maryland will also provide a more significant impact on actual emissions by influencing the carbon intensity of the State's EPA greenhouse gas emissions factor
- Enhance the public awareness of BRCPC's efforts to pursue sustainable and progressive technologies
- Identify County-owned properties with the potential for renewable energy generation. Eligible properties should include:
- Open/vacant spaces
- Existing buildings
- Parking garages and lots
- When applicable, require contractors to include a cost-benefit analysis for appropriate renewable energy technologies during the predesign or design phases for new construction projects or major capital renovations. For buildings pursuing LEED certification, encourage the use of renewable energy to achieve additional LEED points.
- Evaluate County buildings scheduled for roof replacements to determine if solar would be a viable option at the time of replacement.
- Explore the use of solar carports to install over parking lots with minimal to no shade. Similarly, consider solar carports for new parking garage construction. Solar carports can also be equipped with electric vehicle charging stations to supply clean energy for alternatively-fueled vehicles.